Lockheed, Pentagon Strike Deal for 32 F-35 Jets; David Venlet Comments

U.S. Air Force photo

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will supply the Defense Department with 32 more F-35 fighter jets under an agreement the two sides have made in principle, American Forces Press Service reports.

Vice Adm. David Venlet

Claudette Roulo writes the 32 planes represent the Joint Strike Fighter program’s fifth batch, which the company began producing in December 2011 under an undefinitized contract action.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the financial terms of the deal will be released once contracts are signed, according to AFPS.

Navy Vice Adm. David Venlet, F-35 program executive officer, said the new agreement covers the costs of manufacturing support equipment, flight test instrumentation and additional mission equipment, Roulo writes.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan is slated to succeed Venlet as head of the F-35 program as part of a leadership shuffle in the government (click over to our sister site ExecutiveGov for more coverage).

This new deal includes 22 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants for the Air Force, three F-35B short takeoff and landing variants for the Marine Corps and seven F-35C carrier variants for the Navy.

Nations listed as either a partner or participant in the F-35 development program include the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Israel and Singapore.

Japan ordered four jets in July for nearly $756.53 million and could buy nearly $10 billion worth of jets via a foreign military sale.

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